Report: Calvin Johnson cleans out locker, isn’t sure he wants to play


Wednesday’s announcement from Lions receiver Calvin Johnson that an announcement regarding his future is coming seemed complex and curiously timed. But the truth may flow from the simplest explanation.

Johnson genuinely is thinking about retiring from football.

Ed Werder of ESPN, citing an unnamed source, reports that Johnson has cleaned out his locker at the team’s facility, unlike other veteran players. Johnson also reportedly has told his mother that he’s not sure he wants to play.

If he retires, Johnson will owe the Lions $3.2 million in previously-paid signing-bonus money. If he waits out the Lions and refuses to renegotiate a contract that would pay him $15.95 million in salary this season, along with a $24 million cap number, the Lions likely would cut Johnson, allowing him to keep the $3.2 million.

It also would give him the freedom to play for another team, if he changes his mind later.

Either way, Johnson seems to be, at least for now, having real questions about whether he’ll play again. And while the chronic struggles of the Lions may have something to do with that, Johnson also likely realizes that he’s not the guy at age 30 that he was in earlier years. Unless and until he comes to terms with that, it could be hard for him to continue.

92 responses to “Report: Calvin Johnson cleans out locker, isn’t sure he wants to play

  1. C’mon over across the state and a big lake to Green Bay Calvin. (You can bring your tiger to.)

    That way you will know what its like to play for a Super Bowl contending team before you retire.

  2. Sucks to see him probably leaving Detroit here but just like Barry we couldn’t help the guy win games. To me as a fan he didn’t look into the game this year. I didn’t see that excitement in him that we have for 8-9 years. Thanks for everything Calvin. Your the only thing that made my Lions tolerable to watch since you came into the league.

  3. Playing for the Lions seems to do that to good players. I respect him a great deal but as a Bears fan, not facing him twice a year would not be unwelcome.

  4. I’d probably quit from a company that hired a president who has zero experience or knowledge on how operations work for that particular company.

    Seeing how the Lions are becoming more of a chaotic circus, who can blame Calvin for thinking of leaving?

  5. If he wants to win make about 8 million he will come to the Patriots. See Moss, Randy, 23TDS

  6. I can’t blame him, he’s been great for the Lions in his career and is a class act. If he goes to a contender that would be fine with me also..he deserves it. Hope to see him back, if not, thank you Calvin.

  7. “Either way, Johnson seems to be, at least for now, having real questions about whether he’ll play again. And while the chronic struggles of the Lions may have something to do with that, Johnson also likely realizes that he’s not the guy at age 30 that he was in earlier years. Unless and until he comes to terms with that, it could be hard for him to continue.”

    Sports psychologist now? I just think that may be reading a bit much into it at this point in time unless you have personally talked to him about this. If not I just think that’s a bit of a reach.

  8. He’s trying to leverage the Lions. Get serious this off-season and make the right moves with the front office, Coaching staff, and roster or get me out of here. Good for him.

  9. Thinking Tawmy wouldn’t mind having him as a target, stick it out and don’t negotiate another contract with the Lions…

    Come over to the dark side, join the Pat’s and get that Super Bowl ring you deserve Calvin….

  10. He’s not done, he’s just over Detroit.
    Can’t blame him. Crappy situation for years, and now some old broad is going to fix it? She might be rich, but I doubt she can straighten out an NFL franchise. She’s used to yelling at the help for screwing up the garden or whatever. Or the laundry.
    I’d bail too.

  11. Don’t all players clean out their lockers at the end of the season?
    Don’t you read the articles before posting??? The part where it is written, veteran players usually don’t clean out their lockers.

  12. Gimme a break…..this guy is not going to retire, and the lions are not going to pay him 20 million plus next year…….just tell it like it is

  13. We saw Fitzgerald’s bounce back year, right? I wouldn’t necessarily say Calvin Johnson’s greatness is over just yet.

  14. If I had to play in Detroit, I’d be looking to retire too. He’s been a great player on lousy teams, much like Barry Sanders was.

  15. While I agree that a team should be able to cut a player at any time and not pay him any more future money (other than guarantees), I don’t think it’s fair if a player wants to retire before the end of their deal, they have to pay back a pro-rated amount of their signing bonus.

    It’s stupid rule, since all a player who wants to retire needs to do is show up, go through the motions and get cut, and he gets to keep his signing bonus.

    Is that what the NFL wants to encourage? Why waste everyone’s time? If a player wants to retire, let him. Don’t force them to pay back any of the signing bonus.

  16. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Jan 6, 2016 7:51 PM
    Can’t blame him, only 53 players are fortunate enough to play for the back-to-back defending SB champion Seattle Seahawks.


    Maybe if you had fed the beast, buuuuutt that’s not how the last Super Bowl went buddy. You only won 1 not back-to-back.

  17. add another one to the Bears hit list of NFC North players who retire after playing us…

    Calvin Johnson

  18. I would hold out a few months Calvin!! I have this feeling that they are going to try and lure Coughlin there. Accorsi is there helping with the GM search and I think it’s the perfect spot for Tom to go there and make them a true competitor.

  19. Call Jerry Jones and trade him…maybe history will repeat itself!!!

    Hardly scientific, but he and Stafford had an exchange at the 2nd of the last game that struck me as more than an :I’ll see you in a couple of months”. He is getting slower and hurt more often…

  20. If he does retire (and, as a Packers fan, I hope he doesn’t), Charles Woodson, Calvin Johnson and whoever else, would make one of the greatest HoF classes in recent times.

  21. I’d hate to see him retire, and I’d feel sorry for Lions fans if he bolted, but I’d just be damn sad if he sold his soul to play for the Patriots whose fans seem to think every fading superstar should have their brand.

  22. He’ll obviously want to come to Minnesota… All great players when they move on from their original teams come to Minnesota. Favre, McNabb, etc etc

  23. Yep folks, we’ve come to the point when the players get so much money they either quit when they want to or finagle out of a contract and move to another team just by snapping their fingers.

  24. There sure a lot of pathetic trolls commenting on this story. The story from CBS in Detroit has talked with his teammates and the consensus is that he’s in a lot of pain. One season his pinky finger was sideways for half the year. Chronic ankle issue. And to those who say Detroit ruins the careers of the best players… Both Barry and soon Calvin will be first ballot Hall of Fame players. I’d rather be in the Hall than be part of a Super Bowl winning team.

  25. Take it to the bank, folks. Calvin Johnson or Alshon Jeffrey will be in a Vikings uniform next season. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, though.

  26. I’ve always liked the kind of player he is, and the Thanksgiving game in 2015 showed he can still play at an extremely high level.

    I really hope he decides to keep going, and that he is part of a good system (wherever that may be) next year. If not for the team I follow than hopefully in the other conference.

    If he plays in 2016 he’ll still be somewhere in the top 20 of WRs.

  27. Isn’t he still in the top 5 of wide receivers in the league ? If the Lions wanted to do something right, they should let him go to a winning team, so he has a chance at winning a Super Bowl.

  28. Sad to hear this. I never heard of any drama from this superstar, I wish him the best in whatever he decides to do.

  29. If Marcia Brady had tampered with his balls all these years, Calvin could have cheated his way to a ring by now. Instead, all he’s got is his pride, his mega millions, his all time records, and his integrity.

  30. Don’t do it Calvin… We need you. Your the greatest and you still have plenty left in the tank. I can’t lose Megatron in my life, if anything I need more. The NFL needs more.

    But if you do I understand. Barry did the same. Retiring while still in your prime leaving the fans always wanting more wondering what if… It’s stuff legends are made of and Calvin Johnson you will be a legend.

  31. as an older packer fan, there are 3 players I loved to watch, unless they were playing my packers. Sweetness, megatron, and my favorite non packer player of all time, barry sanders. mrs ford, make your lions relevant again. it would suck to lose 2 of the best at their position while they still had a lot to contribute. I think sanders could still play today, and there isn’t a team in the league that wouldn’t take calvin. I can only dream of him being in green bay.

  32. Megatron will be catching passes for either Green Bay or New England next season. More power to him…

  33. It has to be tiresome to be as good as he is and play for a consistently bad team year in and year out. I know he has slowed some,but Megatron still has plenty of gas left in the tank. Another team would snag him in a heartbeat.

  34. proc2000 says:
    Jan 6, 2016 9:43 PM

    As a 50 year old life-long, Lions fan, the gut-wrenching, hurt never ends.
    Viking here, I kinda feel your pain.

  35. I see him playing but not for the Lions. Even he has seen enough. I credit him a lot. There are a lot of lions fans who have suffered for 50 years and still don’t get it.

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